Categories ‐ Theory

I’m jumping on the band-wagon of “the year is over, let’s look back” for once this year because 2015 was one of the most fundamentally formative years of my life. I looked at every facet of my existence with 200% zoom and dragged a lot of the clutter from my desktop kicking and screaming into the recycle bin. Here’s what I learned along with the tools that were instrumental in helping me affect change on every level.

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I’ve done a lot of public speaking at Universities and at entrepreneurship events and a reoccurring theme that seems to crop up whenever someone pulls me aside afterwards is a lack of direction coupled with a lack confidence in their skills and experience. I usually tell people that one comes with the other and the best thing that you can do is just to create a side-project that you’re interested in – something based on a passion (even if it is just fleeting at the start) and to just get on with it. You don’t even have to show it to anyone but you owe it to yourself to start, to do something.
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We’ve seen a staggering increase in the amount of data being shared and created on the internet. This phenomenon has even been described as a ‘Sharepocalypse’ or massive information overload. This is the result of millions of pieces of content being shared billions of times per month, which has led many to speculate on whether there is a ‘choice overload’, such as Sheena Iyengar has described in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2000. But I don’t see this as being the major problem that we are facing today, rather the main focal point of this post will skim over the points of the dissemination of information and rather look at the information itself, namely whether the information being shared is of pertinent, or a qualitative nature or rather of a more temporal, quantitative nature- that of information being shared for sharing’s sake.

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There are numerous reports and studies that expose the extraordinary amount of time spent on the internet pursuing ‘leisure’ activities such as social networking. But has this trend organically evolved solely from our advances in technology or is something more – the beginning of a world-societal trend that has been destined to revolutionise the way in which we spend all of our time?
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British anthropologist Robin Dunbar theorized that there is a limit to the number of individuals one can maintain stable social relationships with in a group setting. The number lies between 100 and 230, with a commonly used value of 150. Dunbar postulates that “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex* size, and that this in turn limits group size … the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained.” And I believe there is truth in this figure, though I go so far as to say that a mean group size of 150 is too large even when broken down into a minimum of three subsets.
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